About the Match
After wrapping up the only T20 match by 9 runs and the 5-match ODI series by 3-2, Sri Lanka is taking on the hosts England in a 2-test match contest to conclude the tour, the 1st test being played at Lords, from 12-16 June. Visitors Sri Lanka is brimming with confidence and would like to polish off the series by winning the 2 test matches also; the last test match series between the two countries in England was in 2011, with a result 1-0 in favor of the home team. The weather forecast being cloudy and scattered showers during these days, there could be some interruptions, but with the form and performance so far, the tests are certain to end with results other than draw.
The last test match played by England was the prestigious Ashes series against Australia in Australia which they lost 5-0 in a 5 test match series in 2013-14 and against Sri Lanka it was in 2011-12 in Sri Lanka, which was a drawn series 1-1. Cook has a balanced side of experienced and young players, with a very good combination of LH/RH batting line-up and a battery of fast and medium pace bowling attack supported by 4 spinners. Except for Anderson, Prior and Bell, all are below 30 years and that will prove an asset to Cook in the grueling 5 day encounter; Jordan and Robinson have not played a test match whereas Balance and Woakes have just played 1 test each. The experience of the Captain with 102 tests and 8047 runs with the tenacity of Ian Bell having played 98 tests with 6722 runs should give enough moral support to the batsmen. Anderson with a bowling experience in 92 tests and Stewart Broad who played 67 tests with a best bowling figure of 11/121 in a match, will test the patience of the Sri Lankans who are a formidable team, and Cook will have to assess the match session by session in marshalling his resources.
They played the last test match against Bangladesh in the 2013-14 season, which the Lankans won 1-0 in a 2-test match series, whereas the last test match series against England was a home series ending 1-1 draw. The England team is a bruised lot with the recent Ashes series ending in a 5-0 white wash against them and the loss of T20 as well as ODI series against the visitors, which have just been wrapped up. The Lankans have just piled up 558/8 declared playing 138 overs in the 1st Innings of the just concluded drawn 4-day warm up match against Northamptonshire, and except for opener Karunaratne, all top and middle order batsmen were in full form. Thirimanne and Silva were roaring with over 150 runs each and staying at the wicket for over 4 hours; whereas, Kulasekara, Welegedra, and Prasad can generate good pace and extract bounce from the pitch, Perera and Herath can surprise the home team by their well disguised spins.
The home team has talents but limitations in experience, whereas the visitors are a well-knit side of experienced players which can force the opponent to commit errors. It is going to be a tussle to establish supremacy and we expect the Lankans to come out winners in the 1st test.
Sri Lanka, 5.00 @ Titan Bet
Batting was one of the major issue for both the sides in the recently concluded ODI series. Barring a few batsmen, no one got going on regular basis. Alastair Cook and Ian Bell were in fine nick and they are expected to do well in tests as well. I think skipper Cook will emerge as top English batsman.
Top England Batsman:
Alastair Cook, 4.33 @ Bet365